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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 January 2006, 13:14 GMT
'Gay' police horse case dropped
A student who called a mounted policeman's horse "gay" will not be prosecuted, it has been revealed.

But police have stood by their decision to take Sam Brown to court for making "homophobic comments" despite the Crown Prosecution Service dropping the case.

Mr Brown, 21, a student at Oxford University, had said to an officer: "Excuse me, do you realise your horse is gay?"

Police took the case to court after Mr Brown refused to pay a 80 fine.

Mr Brown, who made the comment during a night out with friends in Oxford after his final exams, was arrested under section 5 of the Public Order Act for making homophobic remarks.

Evidence lacking

His remarks were deemed likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

The English Literature graduate, from Belfast, spent the night of 30 May last year in a police cell.

It emerged at Oxford Magistrates' Court on Thursday that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had chosen to discontinue the case.

Prosecutor Cariad Eveson-Webb said there was not enough evidence to prove Mr Brown had been disorderly.

Thames Valley Police defended their decision to take the case to court.

A spokesman said: "We present the case to the CPS and the CPS make the decision to proceed or not.

"He made homophobic comments that were deemed offensive to people passing by."




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